I have been thinking a lot about time lately. How we spend it. How we value it. How we never seem to have enough of it.
We live in a culture that idolizes "busy" and pencils in happiness for a later date...for some fabled time in the distant future when the work is done and the bills are paid and the to-do lists have finally been conquered. It's so easy to forget that we are only allotted a few fleeting hours on this planet. That they will pass no matter how we choose to spend them. That time is a precious and non-renewable resource.
Lately, I have been falling into the trap of "busy." Hook, line, and sinker. Days have been blurring into weeks, and weeks into months, and it isn't until a friend sincerely asks, "What's new?" that I realize I haven't been making time for any of the things that bring me joy. That I have nothing to say except, "Oh, you know...just working a lot." That I have been so caught up in the day-to-day grind, that I have forgotten to actually enjoy life.
So for my birthday this year, I am promising myself the gift of time and committing to carving out a little space, each and every day, to live slowly and mindfully. To start manifesting the creative projects that have been rolling around in the quiet corners of my mind for the past few months. To make things by hand. To play. To plant. To make room for the quiet daily joys I so often rush past.
And this means I'm going to need to get real cozy with the word "no" (something I have historically been terrible at.) I'm starting to realize that slow living is as much about saying "no" to things that don't serve you, as it is about saying "yes" to things that do. Prioritizing, lovelies. Cutting out what's not essential. Simplifying. Like Marie Kondo-ing your closet, but with your planner.
So to mark my renewed commitment to slowing down and celebrate the first few glorious days of spring, I made a batch of these lovely Rose + Vanilla Bean Iced Lattes. Infusing the almond milk with whole vanilla bean and rose petals takes a little more time and a little more love, but really, don't all the best things? The end result is floral and creamy and refreshing and barely sweet. The perfect addition to a sunshiny morning spent lounging on the patio, ignoring your inbox.
*Please note, like many of my recipes, the amounts here are merely suggestions. Feel free to adjust to your taste. Makes enough for 2.
- 2 cups organic almond milk (soy, coconut or dairy would also work beautifully)
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 3 T of organic food-grade dried rose petals
- 2 cups cold brew coffee or fresh espresso shots
1. Freeze cold brew coffee in ice cube tray to make coffee ice cubes. This will keep the ice from watering down your latte as it melts.
2. Add almond milk to a small pan. Using a sharp knife, cut vanilla bean length-wise to expose the tiny seeds inside. Scrape the inside flecks of vanilla bean into the pan of milk, then add the empty husks to the milk as well. Add rose petals.
3. Heat pan over low heat until it begins to simmer. Once the creamer simmers, remove from heat. Cover and allow to steep for 30 mins - 1 hr. (The longer you steep, the stronger the rose flavor will be.)
4. Strain creamer into a clean jar or bowl to remove vanilla bean husks and rose petals. Those gorgeous little flecks of vanilla bean will stay in the creamer. Chill in fridge.
5. Add coffee ice cubes and fresh espresso shots (or cold brew coffee) to highball glass. Add creamer to taste. Garnish with crushed rose petals.